(Video link here.) In 1975, film maker Tom Schiller made a documentary of Henry Miller. A full 35 minutes of it takes place in Miller’s astonishing bathroom after he had woken up. We found all 35 minutes riveting, though the first 3:35 give the big gist: Miller decorated his bathroom in a break-the-mold way that has nothing to do with the usual concerns of style and luxury, that takes you WAY beyond the little room:

People often come in here and get lost as it were…they get fascinated with these pictures. I often myself, to tell you the truth if it, I spend long minutes in here reviewing them all, wondering why did I get them, why did I put them up there. They run a gamut from the Buddhists to the whores to the maniac that made that beautiful castle up there.

In a way, it is very much like a sort of voyage. I look upon it, a voyage of ideas. We’re traveling not around the world but around my bathroom which is a little microcosm like the world…that’s one of the beauties about it, that it can take you anywhere. You let your mind roam. As we way, one thing leads to another.  If you sit here and you are relaxed, why you’re free to make free associations.

Miller unique bathroom style allowed his mind to roam…one thing leading to another…

via Open Culture

Related posts: pablo neruda’s poetic houses (+ his ‘ode to the present’)
alexander calder’s inspired bathroom improvisations
bathroom read: esquire’s “what I’ve learned”
bathroom read: john cage’s “a year from monday”
toilet paper as design element
dept. of subtle taboos: bathroom computer

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4 replies on “henry miller’s microcosmic bathroom monologue

  1. My hero! Brilliant writer, brilliant film, brilliant use of the bathroom. Got to go check out Blaise Cendrars….

  2. You should by all means check out Blaise Cendrars. I first came to his work by way of Henry Miller’s recommendation and have never looked back.

  3. This is great!! For years, the bathroom vanity had been the ONLY mirror in my house… I’m a ballet dancer so you can imagine… Plenty of self contemplation in mirrors in my past!
    I think the hinged art over the vanity is a big idea!!! People do it with their television sets. Thanks for the great idea!!! Love your posts so far btw!!!

  4. I guess at some point in life some of us experience mirror fatigue. Especially those that had to work with a mirror, and/or their image as part of their work. It is good to unwind that…

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